I don’t know about you but I couldn’t wait until I became an adult. Remember when your only responsibility was doing your homework and maybe some chores on the weekend? Fast forward about 30 years and I realize every single day that being an adult is completely overrated and can be stressful. How I long for the days when school started at 9 in the morning and ended promptly at 3 in the afternoon. I just looked my schedule for the day and all I want to do is roll my eyes. The amount of homework I had as a child is laughable as I look at my desk wondering which task I’m going to tackle first. This isn’t a full-out adult temper tantrum contained within a blog post. I don’t complain without getting closer to a solution or a goal. Do you want to see how I deal with all of this “adulting” without losing my job, family, friends or mind?
Behold the sanity keeper, the conversation starter, the stress reliever, the spontaneous group activity that I bought for my office. This coloring sheet is a glorious 5 feet wide and 4 feet tall and it derails adult temper tantrums, negativity, and tendencies to be cranky. Did you know that adult coloring relieves stress, sparks creativity and encourages mindfulness? The act of coloring requires repetition and attention to detail, so you are able to focus on the activity, not on the meeting that ran over by 30 minutes. Is coloring not your thing? What about going outside and tossing around a football or lace up your sneakers and coordinate a group walk during lunch. Find what works for your office to help you and your fellow co-workers alleviate the stress from all of that “adulting” that we are required to do while on the road to being extraordinary.
I don’t know about you, but I get unexplainable joy from serving others. Helping others reach their goals, break through a mental road block or overcome a challenge makes me Christmas-morning happy. We help others by sharing our gifts and talents. We help others by being authentic and transparent about our struggles and heartbreak.
Have you ever had someone come to you and tell you that because of something you did or said inspired them to pursue a dream? I can tell you from personal experience, it is an amazing feeling. Don’t be selfish with your life experiences. You never who it will encourage or inspire.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been recording Facebook Live videos. I didn’t set out to do them with any frequency but alas, there is more than one. Have you seen them? If not, you are in luck, here are the links and topics I covered.
Who Is Surrounding You?
Cut It Out With Self-Imposed Restrictions
Stop Existing and Start Living
You Don’t Need Saving
I would love to hear your thoughts on the videos and hear what topics you would like for me to cover next.
Self-imposed restrictions and limitations can be great for setting a basic guideline like eating healthy or exercising. But when you limit yourself because you doubt how awesome you are or what others may say, you are blocking yourself from doing something extraordinary. Be willing to go where you are uncomfortable. Be willing to start the conversation. Be willing to volunteer for that project that no one else wants. Be willing to see the opportunity in the midst of challenge. Be willing to live instead of just existing. Be willing to be extraordinary.
How can you get to where you want to go if you don’t know where you are right now? While coaching an amazing woman, I asked her, “Where do you see yourself a year from now?” The question stumped her. So I asked her a basic question based on her current circumstances. “What are you really good at?” Again…crickets. When using your GPS for driving instructions, it needs your current location in order to give you directions for your destination. Getting to know yourself is the starting point on the GPS. If you are unsure of where you are, here are a few questions to get you started:
- What are my strengths? What are you known for? What do people call on you to do frequently?
- What are my short-term and long-term goals? You don’t need a complicated plan. Take some time and mind map it.
- What am I ashamed of? If you haven’t read “Daring Greatly” by Dr. Brene Brown, I highly recommend it.
- What new activities am I willing to try?
- What am I worried about? What is keeping you up at night or keeping you from making a decision?
- What does my inner critic tell me? We are our worse critics. Listen to what it is saying. Is it really true or a lie that someone told you that you keep replaying as truth?
- What do I do to practice self-care? This is a big one. If you don’t take the time to take care of yourself. No one is going to give it to you
- What am I passionate about?
- Am I an introvert or extrovert? Did you know you could be an outgoing introvert? Transparent and vulnerable moment….I’m an ambivert. It took me years to figure out why I get so mentally exhausted after being around a large group of people for an extended period of time. I love to serve others but I now know when I’ve met my threshold of being sociable.
- If I wasn’t afraid, I would______. Some are able to complete this statement immediately. Some may take a few minutes or even days to think about it. However long it takes, answer it and then ask yourself, “Why am I afraid?”
When you are unsure of where you are, the road ahead can seem daunting. When you know who you are, you can chart your own path.
Mark Petticord said, “The sum of your net worth will be the result of your network.” While I believe in having a diverse network, I also believe your network reflects your self-worth. I can pretty much tell how people feel about themselves by the people they surround themselves with. When I see people surrounded by a bunch of bobbleheads and people who don’t challenge them or their ideas, there is a strong possibility that person does not see how much they have to offer and has low self-worth. On the contrary, when I see someone who is surrounded by people who are smarter than they are and receive constructive feedback, I know that those people are dedicated to improving their self-worth which ultimately impacts their ability to grow their network.
Your relationships are a reflection of how you see yourself. If you are surrounded by people who constantly take from you but don’t replenish you…you are hanging around with the wrong people. Surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you and have your best interest at heart. Is there some truth that your network equals your net worth? Maybe. But I dare to say that when you know your self-worth making those connections in your network will be a lot easier.
Register today for the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference on October 6 & 7 in Laurel, MD: www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com
For the men that might read this, I apologize in advance. This post wasn’t written for you. It doesn’t mean you should leave, it just means that I need to talk to the women today.
Okay, so let’s talk about it. Adele won the Grammy for Album of the Year and after everyone who had taken part in making the album was on the stage, Adele proceeded to tell everyone that she couldn’t possibly accept the award because it belonged to the artist of her life, Beyonce. Wait, what? Now let’s be clear. According to Billboard.com, Adele’s album has sold over 9 million copies, spent 10 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts, had over 4 million downloads of the lead single, “Hello”, there were 1.7 BILLION views of her video on YouTube and grossed $159.3 million dollars from 102 shows during a year-long tour. You don’t have to be an Adele fan or even know who she is to appreciate those numbers. The point is, her album did well. Very well. So why did she feel like the most coveted award belonged to another artist? This is what happens when a woman is so confident in her talent that she had no problem sharing the spotlight with a woman who is equally talented. It didn’t take anything away from Adele to tell Beyonce how “monumental” her album was while she accepted the award.
And while there were many who tried to make this a racial conversation, I saw it as a model of what happens when a woman realizes that acknowledging the awesome, fantastic and stupendous in another woman does not make her any less amazing, talented and extraordinary. Backstage, Adele was asked why she spent so much time talking about Beyonce. Her answer was simple. She was a fan of Beyonce and “Lemonade” was her album of the year. I think the phrase “haters” (which I think is the stupidest phrase…ever) would finally disappear if women did this for each other ALL THE TIME. There is nothing more powerful than women supporting each other.
Are you supporting other women? When was the last time you…
- gave another woman a genuine compliment?
- publicly supported another woman at your company?
- recommended another entrepreneur to a client because you knew she was a better fit for the job?
- sent a word of encouragement?
There’s room for everyone to shine. Don’t believe me? Look at the stars.
Registration for the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference is open. Register today at www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com
Raise your hand if you are guilty of either of the following:
…putting the needs of others before your own needs
…saying “yes” when I really need to say “hell no”.
You don’t need a stronger backbone, you need to practice self-care. You would think that self-care would be intuitive. It is not. It something that we have to practice every single day. To help you get started or get better with self-care, here’s a link to 9 phenomenal TED talks on the importance of self-care (https://www.ted.com/playlists/299/the_importance_of_self_care). The talks range in length from 3 minutes to 20 minutes and are sure to either inspire you or give you swift, but loving kick in the butt. I’ve said it before and I will say it again…self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.
Every now and then it’s good to take some time to do some self-reflection. During my six-day visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, I remembered that I have continued to train certain people in my life to treat me the way they do. Family members, friends, and co-workers have all been taught by me that’s it is okay to infringe upon my “me time”. That it’s okay to say they will call and don’t. That it’s okay to come to my desk and stand there while I’m on the phone. I taught them how to do it by accepting the behavior and not lovingly or professionally correcting them the first time they displayed behavior. I didn’t tell them that wanting time for myself is not selfish, it’s necessary for my emotional well being. I didn’t tell them that I was disappointed when they didn’t keep their word. I didn’t tell them that I would appreciate it if they didn’t just walk up to my desk and start talking without first checking to see if I was busy.
Standing firm on what I will accept and allow will definitely raise eyebrows and ruffle several feathers and I am comfortable with the uncomfortable feeling that I might feel through this process. The process will be a little more difficult with the people I love. When you are not allowed to fully express your feelings because someone finds fault in them or tries to negate them with an explanation, you are essentially robbed of the satisfaction of trusting a person you love with your deepest fears. I’m hoping that those who claim to love me will listen to what I have to say with their heart and not their selfish ego. I admit I’m little afraid of how my personal relationships might change. However, what I know and believe in my heart is the relationships that have a strong foundation will survive and those that are superficial will wither under the weight of me standing in my truth. And I’m okay with that.
How are you teaching others to treat you?
Abu Dhabi Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque
This week I’m visiting the cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. I’m traveling with about 100 other women, mostly my sorors of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. The trip is a trip of a lifetime (although I plan to come back soon). How could I miss the opportunity to: 1) travel to the richest capital city in the world, 2) immerse myself in a culture that so often misrepresented and misunderstood and 3) celebrate 97 years of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. on Founders’ Day with my international sorors? The short answer is I could not. This trip was a year in the making. A year of sacrificing my favorite vanilla lattes with a triple shot of espresso, eating out, cute shoes and fabulous handbags. A year of reminding myself that I would be traveling to where no other woman in my family has ever gone and I was setting an example for my daughters to follow. I got an opportunity to try food that I didn’t know existed, like beef bacon and coffee made with saffron and rose water and eat food I wouldn’t regularly eat, like rocoto miso glazed black cod with avocado poblano puree and orange mojo. I embraced the culture and wore a jalabiya to dinner with my sorors and felt like a queen, if only for an evening. To receive compliments from Muslim and Arab women as I walked through the hotel was an amazing feeling. While I reside in the United States, I am a global citizen. This trip is just the beginning of my journey to expand my global experience. When was the last time you purposely set out to have new experiences to gain a broader perspective?
Registration is open for the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference on October 6 & 7, 2017.